Under Construction


Lucinda A. McDade and Carrie Kiel
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Note: this taxon list is still under construction. It does not yet contain all known Acanthopsis subgroups.

The list above includes only taxa that were sampled by McDade et al. (2005).  There are a few other species of Acanthopsis that likely belong to this clade but this needs to be confirmed with further study.
Containing group: Acantheae


The small southern African genus Acanthopsis is monophyletic in phylogenetic studies to date (McDade et al. 2005).  These plants have unusual bracts with 3-5 apical spines that are themselves spinescent and branched hygroscopic trichomes on the seeds.  Although phylogenetic results based on DNA data place Acanthopsis sister to Acanthus, we do not know of morphological data that support this relationship.  Indeed, the fact that Acanthopsis and Blepharis have unusual branched hygroscopic trichomes on their seeds (the seeds of Acanthus are glabrous or puberulous) would suggest a closer relationship between the former two genera than is supported by our results.


McDade, L. A., T. F. Daniel, C. A. Kiel, and K. Vollesen. 2005. Phylogenetic relatinships among Acantheae (Acanthaceae): Major lineages present contrasting patterns of molecular evolution and morphological differentiation. Systematic Botany 30: 834-862.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Acanthopsis sp. Harv.
Location South Africa
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
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About This Page

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, California, USA

Carrie Kiel
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Lucinda A. McDade at and Carrie Kiel at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

McDade, Lucinda A. and Carrie Kiel. 2006. Acanthopsis. Version 13 September 2006 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Acanthopsis/52311/2006.09.13 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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